Intraglomerular dendritic link connected by gap junctions and chemical synapses in the mouse main olfactory bulb: electron microscopic serial section analyses.

Neuroscience

PubMedID: 15730867

Kosaka T, Kosaka K. Intraglomerular dendritic link connected by gap junctions and chemical synapses in the mouse main olfactory bulb: electron microscopic serial section analyses. Neuroscience. 2005;131(3):611-25.
Glomeruli of the main olfactory bulb are considered to serve as functional units in processing the olfactory information. Thus the fine tuning of the output level from each glomerulus is important to the information processing in the olfactory system. The interactions among neuronal elements in glomeruli might be one of main mechanisms regulating this output level. In the mouse main olfactory bulb neuronal connections via chemical synapses and gap junction in glomeruli were analyzed by the serial electron microscopical reconstruction. Gap junctions were encountered between diverse types of dendritic processes, between mitral/tufted cell dendrites, between mitral/tufted cell dendrites and periglomerular cell dendrites and between mitral/tufted cell dendrites and dendrites of some interneurons different from periglomerular cells. Then these morphological observations indicate that we must consider both direct coupling between mitral/tufted cells via gap junctions and indirect coupling between mitral/tufted cells via intervening interneuronal processes. One of gap junction-forming processes presynaptic in asymmetrical synapses was traced back to the soma of its origin located in the glomerular layer, which was thus identified as an external tufted cell. However, interestingly, it showed apparently different ultrastructural features from other external tufted cells located at the border between the glomerular and external plexiform layers; the latter resemble so-called mitral/tufted cells located in the external plexiform and mitral cell layers. Then external tufted cells were assumed to be heterogeneous in their ultrastructural features. We occasionally encountered several dendrites connected by gap junctions, which furthermore made chemical synapses with each other and with other surrounding processes. Thus both chemical synapses and gap junctions interconnect complexly various processes in the glomerulus, where the local circuit among intermingled olfactory nerves, mitral/tufted cell dendrites and interneuron dendrites is far more complex than previously schematized.